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Supreme Court to hear review petitions for Sabarimala issue on 22 January

November 15, 2018

The Supreme Court (SC) has agreed to hear review petitions challenging women's entry into Sabarimala. SC said that the petitions would be heard at an open court on 22 January in 2019. Now, the Kerala government under Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is gearing up to welcome women devotees for the upcoming Mandala Vilakku season that will begin on 17 November. Vijayan said that the state will abide by order of the top court. Women devotees who wish to enter the temple will be provided all securities by state government.

Vijayan has called for an all party meeting on 15 November in order to decide on the arrangements that need to be made for women devotees. In the online queue website of Kerala police, over 500 women have already registered to enter the temple.

There were mixed responses on social media.

Supreme Court to hear all 49 review petitions in the #Sabarimala case on January 22 in open court. That means women of all ages will be able to enter temple on Nov 17 when the temple reopens for a three-month period- Poulomi Saha

On 28 September, the Supreme Court passed a verdict that women of all ages can enter Sabarimala temple. Until then, there was a ban on women of menstruating age entering the temple. Lifting this tradition had created communal riots in Kerala. Women journalists and devotees who tried to enter the temple were manhandled by mobs. Thousands of policemen were deployed by the state government to make sure that further violence does not happen.

Meanwhile, debates on entry of women and communal riots in Kerala are going strong in social media.

"Can anyone cite a similar case to #Sabarimala in a western country in which a secular court dictates who can enter the shrines of the majority religion or what practices devotees can do? I don't think this occurs anywhere except in India", tweeted Dr David Frawley

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